Art on show in Brighton and Hove & East and West Sussex
Following a sell-out solo show at Dynamite Gallery in 2017, Brighton artist Sam Hewitt returns with a new body of work titled Inward Sky.
Featuring ten new paintings in Hewitt’s signature style, a play with light and shadow, the works look in on the general public at low sunlight. Hewitt chooses his subjects based on autobiographical experiences, applying his own story to their stance and circumstance.
Hewitt commented: “The show title refers to the paintings of graded colour upon which thoughts manifest in the form of ordinary people and their various motives, assumed through movement and body language. Together they describe my internal experience around whatever issue is the title of each painting.”
Heavily influencing this body of work is Hewitt’s recent trip to Marrakech with Panasonic. As with his earlier works, Hewitt’s process is informed by his photographs of people in their respective urban environments. The experience led to Hewitt incorporating warmer colours in comparison to previous works, and with more information about the people pictured.
Commenting on his process, Sam explains: “I often paint over old works and the glimpses of previous layers create the exciting sense of another level of experience to the moment represented. Inward Sky was informed by photographs taken in Morocco in January and take a different approach altogether. The first marks are definitive and need to be made with great care.”
Hewitt’s work connects itself for two specific reasons. Firstly the artist only uses four colours, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, monestial blue and opaque white, so there’s always a strong visual relationship between any two of his paintings.
Secondly, each painting is in part a manifestation of the artist’s unconscious. This element creates profound connections between the works which parallel the artist’s emotions and life experiences.
At first glance, Hewitt’s work is simply a representation of people and shadows, however there are clues observable in the shadows of his subjects that reveal a different story.
Hewitt explains: “I have projected my own internal judgements onto the people and relationships represented. I consider the crowd to be players on the stage of my personal psychodrama. These days my paintings are invariably about my own ‘shadow behaviour’, or ‘scripts’ in a Jungian sense, which refers to strategies adopted early in life that no longer serve me well. As a result the subjects beneath the obvious are often extremely vulnerable disclosures about myself.”
For example, the painting ‘Was it Something I Said’ features a disconnected couple and refers to a relationship of Hewitt’s in which he didn’t talk openly about his feelings. The resulting conflict caused feelings of loneliness on both sides and left the woman questioning herself.
The paintings on show range in size from 70x50cm up to 130x100cm. There will also be two A2 limited edition prints available and a limited edition box set of five A3 prints – all numbered and signed by the artist.
INWARD SKY will be on display from 28 April – 13 May at Dynamite Gallery, 13 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EQ.